SNAP and Cardiometabolic Risk in Youth. Academic Article uri icon


  • Increasing numbers of children and adolescents have unhealthy cardiometabolic risk factors and show signs of developing metabolic syndrome (MetS). Low-income populations tend to have higher levels of risk factors associated with MetS. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) has the potential to reduce poverty and food insecurity, but little is known about how the program affects MetS. We examine the relationship between SNAP and the cardiometabolic risk factors in children and adolescents using regression discontinuity to control for unobserved differences between participants and nonparticipants. We find that SNAP-eligible youth who experience food insecurity have significantly healthier outcomes compared to food-insecure youth just over the income-eligibility threshold. Our findings suggest that SNAP may be most beneficial to the most disadvantaged households. Policy makers should consider the broad range of potential health benefits of SNAP.

published proceedings

  • Nutrients

author list (cited authors)

  • Alfaro-Hudak, K. M., Schulkind, L., Racine, E. F., & Zillante, A.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Alfaro-Hudak, Katelin M||Schulkind, Lisa||Racine, Elizabeth F||Zillante, Arthur

publication date

  • July 2022